Every day more and more party goers are starting to embrace the underground music scene. I come from the early ’90s rave era, and I’ve noticed the new generation of ravers is no different from the early days of underground warehouse events. Everything is exactly the same — unity, love and respect in conjunction with the love of music and the diversity of its perceptual experience. Underground music has always been the admired aesthetic of attitude. Techno and tech house is the perfect example of early underground house music to emerge from Detroit, Chicago and NYC. The minimal programing of electronica dance music is embraced by DJs because they can mix other songs with similar minimal patterns. It’s an ideal formula to indulge and create distinctive, one-of-a-kind live remix sets.
For music to be classified as underground, it usually means that the music is not part of the corporate label music scene. It is not limited to unsigned bands, artists, producers or DJs, but also those signed to independent labels who may not sell millions of discs or downloads, but support freedom of expression in the less mainstream genres of music. There’s no commercial pop cheese here! What began as a counter-culture has now become mainstream. House music originated in Chicago in the mid-’80s at the original Comiskey park, where a rave-like party was thrown for people to burn their disco records. During these years, an underground scene stepped off and began to develop a new music style that was deeper, rawer and designed to make people dance.
As the late-’90s passed and the new millennium settled in, the addictive beats began invading the commercial music world as industry men and women realized that there was money to be made in the underground rave world. Underground events usually are promoted by a street team of die hard party goers that strives to create a memorable event and unity among friends. Like the hippie culture in the ’70s, the underground movement is about freedom of creative expression as opposed to the highly formulaic composition of commercial music. The underground movement appreciates artistic individuality as opposed to conformity to current mainstream trends.
This Month’s Featured DJ: Wil Trahan
Wil Trahan began regularly DJing in 2001 and has held residencies at Club Therapy (Providence, RI), Pulse Afterhours (Providence RI), Moda (Providence, RI) and Bijou (Boston), and plays regularly at numerous other venues throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. Wil has played alongside such names as Adam Beyer, John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Marco Carola, Dubfire, Christian Smith, Boris, Victor Calderone, Carlo Lio, Mark Knight, D Ramirez, Robbie Rivera, Sharam, Umek, The Martinez Brothers, Nick Warren, Steve Lawler, Hernan Cattaneo, Chus & Ceballos, Alan Fitzpatrick, Joseph Capriati, Oscar G, Jonathan Peters, Richie Santana, Peter Bailey, Fehrplay, and Jeremy Olander. Wil has released music on Sturdy Recordings, and has other releases scheduled for Slanted Black, and System NYC.
DJ OSHEEN: What sets you apart from other DJs?
Wil Trahan: Probably the experience that I have had playing in front of many different crowds over the last 13 years. Also the amount of time I have spent on other DJs’ dance floors because I feel that is a very important part of shaping your sound as a DJ.
DJO: What can we expect from your live sets?
WT: It all really depends on the party, the room, and the sound system, but for the most party quality, underground dance music. If I had to pick one genre that I enjoy playing more than any, it would have to be techno. There’s nothing better than getting into a great groove. But it’s tough to play that style of music and have it come across the way it was intended unless you have a quality sound system to play it on. At the end of the day, though, i just love to see people enjoying themselves to the music that I select, regardless of the genre!
DJO: Describe your sound as a DJ.
WT: My sound is one that is dictated by the dance floor, and the vibe of the party. One night, if I’m opening for a headlining DJ, I’ll probably be playing deep house. The next night i might be playing techno in a different setting. Sometimes you might even find me playing old school hip-hop. I believe that there is a time and a place for all music and it’s the DJs job to figure out what time it is.
DJO: What’s your favorite site to purchase music and why?
WT: Probably beatport, and the only reason is that I am very familiar with the layout of the site. I’ve recently started using traxsource as well, and I really like the quality stuff I’ve been finding on that site.
DJO: Name your current top 10 track listings.
WT: Joeski, El Jibaro; La Conga, Tracy Hamlin; Home (Ted Patterson Home Alone remix), Danny Smith; Carmichael (m.i.t.a. remix), Philip Bader; Edge of Space, Nathan Barato; Strange Things, Maceo Plex; Conjure Bass, Vinz Exe; AK47, Tom Flynn; Hoochie, Sonic Future; Bring It On, DJ Melee; Reality Check (Wil Trahan remix)